Diary of a Gun Dog: Episode 6 – The Training Continues


With Oscar fully recovered from his bout of kennel cough and going from strength to strength on his new dog food, his owners are making sure they don’t rest on their laurels in the off season. By keeping up with his training and ironing out little foibles and problems now, they can be sure to have him in the peak of fitness and ready for the off when the shooting season starts again.

Oscar 19

Oscar is really enjoying the Dr John Titanium dog food that he moved onto a few weeks ago. He’s looking so good on it that friends of the family have apparently been switching to Gilbertson & Page dog food too.

Mr R says, “When we’ve introduced new food in the past, Oscar has struggled with it, and even thrown it up at one point, but with this food he took to it straight away and it seems to be doing him a lot of good. He’s still growing (somehow!) and really starting to fill out, so it’s certainly helping him at what must be a really important time in a dog’s life.” (We honestly haven’t paid for such a glowing reference!).

Oscar has developed a little quirk of ‘mouthing’ but not retrieving game that is shot at the moment. Whilst it is common for all dogs to have their little quirks, this one needs some training to sort it out before the new shooting season begins, because it could be problematic on a shoot and will hold him back. Oscar is more than happy to retrieve a ‘dummy’, cold game and even game not long shot and still a little warm, but stumbles over retrieving freshly shot game. Mr and Mrs R have two plans to overcome this:

  1.  To take him out with an older dog, who will reliably retrieve every time, but not allow Oscar to join in. His urge to emulate the older dog, and receive the praise that the older dog is getting, should lead to him disregarding his problem with freshly shot game in favour of retrieving for the rewards and praise.
  2. To take him out on a few really busy days shooting pigeon, which will provide ample opportunity for him to get the hang of this, receive plenty of praise for doing so and sort this little niggle out once and for all.

Oscar continues to be a great family dog too and is much loved by the children.


From Oscar’s View

Oscar the Gun Dog 6Now that I’m all better from my cough, I can be around other dogs again, so I had a friend to stay for a few days, which was lots of fun, though there was some complaining at home with two muddy dogs to dry off and two sets of muddy footprints to clean up when we came home from the woods. All this time they wouldn’t let me upstairs and then they made me go up into a room where it rained indoors! I wasn’t sure about that at all, but I smelt a bit fresher when I came out.

I get the feeling I’m not going to have any rest in what they call the ‘off season’. Lots of hard work so that I’ll be ready to keep up with the older dogs when we start again. When I do something well, they’re so pleased and it makes me happy, so I like to work hard for them.